Apparent New Old Stock Discovery of Proball Baseball Games

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Joined: May 28th, 2014, 2:24 pm

April 28th, 2017, 9:10 am #1

I have actively been collecting electronic baseball games for nearly 20 years and thought I had pretty much seen them all,
including those that I have seen but once on eBay and coveted others for which I have been outbid.

But recently, I found a listing for a Proball branded baseball game that appeared to be a licensed version of the Fonas game
issued in 1979. ( ... abel/Fonas) I had never seen the Proball game
offered for sale with the box and was thrilled to "Buy it Now." The box was in a bit worse shape than the photo seemed
to show but the game itself was pristine. I doubt it had ever been played.

Here is the box - the brand "Proball" is printed on the box in the upper right hand corner but due to
the silvery reflective nature of the box, it was difficult to photograph well.

The sticker on the game also identifies it as a Proball product:

Fast forward a couple of weeks and now I find a Proball Three Electronic Games in One, a licensed version of
the Fonas TRI-1, a strange game that combined baseball games with a space themed game option.
I had NEVER seen this one before and again snapped it up with the Buy it Now.

The box for this one was in nice shape and still had residue from where the price sticker had presumably
been placed some 30+ years ago:

This game also looked like it had never been taken out of the box:

Fast forward another couple of weeks and listings for both of these games are all over eBay, and much to my chagrin,
with Buy it Now prices much less than I had paid. Oh well, at least I secured copies for my collection!

The funny thing is that I cannot find any information about "Proball" and there is not anything on the box or within
the instruction guides with any address or contact information. I am not even sure that Proball was even a company.

All I know is that as a collector, never stop looking for something new to surprise you!

Site Admin
Joined: October 25th, 2013, 6:10 am

May 5th, 2017, 4:26 pm #2

Hey there, John, thanks very much for that very interesting post, and our apologies for having taken
even longer than usual to respond! Happening upon a new, previously uncatalogued thing is always
a thrill for collectors, so we're very glad for ya there -- and thanks, again, for providing that information,
because of course we do try to maintain a list of electronic handhelds along with all the dice and card
and spinner and dart and dexterity games.

Just as with those games in other play formats, it's sometimes hard to tell whether a company credit
on the game or box indicates the manufacturer, or a distributor, or a printer, or a licensee or whatnot.
In an admittedly cursory search, we too can find nothing on Proball that seems to relate to a company
involved with electronic games. This is always and ever a frustrating part of our research on games --
you'd expect it might be difficult to find information on extinct companies from the 1890s, or 1920s, or
1950s, but maddeningly, it's just as hard to locate anything on defunct operations from even as recently
as the 1980s and '90s.

Anyway, congrats again on those discoveries and acquisitions! And keep up the fine work on your
website/blog [ ] -- as soon as we can find a spare few minutes,
we're going to have to compare your Master List with our list of electronic games and figure out what
you have catalogued that we don't (and possibly vice versa -- our list is a little longer than yours, but
it surely includes electronic games that don't qualify by your handheld criteria).